University of Colorado football coach Deion Sanders has been named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated, the magazine announced on Thursday.
Sanders took over a Colorado football program that was 1-11 in 2022 and has injected life into the team and reinvigorated a fanbase in his first season at Colorado. The Buffaloes finished the 2023 season with a 4-8 record, which included many close losses, and sold out season tickets for the first time in history.
“In less than a year, Coach Prime has not only transformed a moribund Colorado football program,” the magazine said. “He’s also breathed fresh life into the campus and transformed a community.”
Coach Prime is here, and he's just getting started
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 30, 2023
Sanders is the first collegiate coach in more than a decade to win the award. In 2011, both Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summit and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski were honored.
“Deion Sanders dominated the sports conversation in 2023 as a transformative figure not just in Colorado, but for the entire realm of college sports,” Stephen Cannella, editor in chief of SI, said in a statement. “On and off the field, he represents a new model for the modern college coach.”
Sanders will be featured on the cover of the Dec. 15 issue.